All-Russian Heads-Up Sees Thrilling GGMillion$ Won for $357,000

A truly rapid final table took place in this week’s GGMillion$, the popular poker tournament that takes place weekly with a $10,300 buy-in on GGPoker. Featuring some of the biggest names in the game, this week saw an all-Russian final battle produce a very well-known winner as legends of the game such as David Peters and Wiktor Malinowski fell just short of glory as they starred at the final table.

Chip Leader Off to Dominant Start

Heading into the final table, it was the Russian poker pro Artur Martirosian who did so with the chip lead and what a stunning lead it was. Sitting on 136 big blinds at the start of the final day, it was only the multiple GGMillion$ winner’s third final table in 2023 but he aimed to make the most of it. A long way back but still in second place was one of the GGMillion$ most consistent performers in the last twelve months. Brazilian player Pablo Silva was at his sixth final table starting with 53 big blinds as he vied for yet another title. 

Behind the top two, players such as David Peters (35BB), Ilya Anatski (31BB), Wiktor Malinowski (27BB), ‘SuperSolid’ (24BB), Giya Yakobishvili (22BB), ‘spaise411’ (21BB) and Alexander Tkatschew (17BB) were all in the hunt, as the race to catch up with the runaway chip leader began. 

Martirosian was the aggressor in most hands as you might imagine, and he scored the first knockout just 20 minutes in. All-in from the small blind with queen-six offsuit, he got a call from short stack Tkatschew in the big blind, whose stack of five blinds was put at risk with seven-eight of spades. The K-J-T flop kept Martirosian ahead, and after a deuce on the turn, Tkatschew needed only a seven or and eight to survive. Instead, a five came on the river and the field was reduced to eight as the German player cashed for $51,105 in ninth place.

Peters and Malinowski Mown Down

David Peters shoved with pocket jacks and ran into a monster both in terms of chips and cards. Martirosian called with pocket aces and the Russian slayed one of the most experienced foes he faced at the final table felt, Peters sliding out in eighth for $65,178 after an eight-high board played out.  

As Martirosian and Pablo Silva battled it out for the chip lead, the Polish crusher Wiktor Malinowski and British player ‘SuperSolid’ – both of whom have excellent records overall in the GGMillion$ – took each other on in a battle of the short stacks. Malinowski was at risk with ace-nine of spades and he couldn’t overtake SuperSolid’ pocket tens as the board of J-8-6-5-3 failed to help the online poker legend Malinowski, who bowed out in seventh for $83,127. 

Russian players were everywhere at the final table, with three of the remaining six coming from the country. One such player, and a consistent performer at GGMillion$ final tables was ‘spaise411’, who took out another opponent on his way up the leaderboard. British player ‘SuperSolid’, themselves a stand-out GGMillion$ player in recent final tables, having reached three in the past few weeks, was all-in with pocket tens, but ‘spaise411’ held pocket jacks and the Russian’s flopped top set eventually made a full house on the turn to send ‘SuperSolid’ to the rail with a very solid $106,018. 

An all-Russian tussle provided the next elimination as Giya Yakobishvili lost to ‘spaise411’ to reduce the field to four. Cashing for $135,212 in fifth, Yakobishvili was all-in with a dominated ace-ten as their countryman ‘spaise411’s ace-jack prevailed with all the chips committed pre-flop. A jack on the flop and river were overkill, and that meant the chip leader Martirosian (6.73m) was followed in the counts by his fellow Russian ‘spaise411’ on 6.35m. Shorter stacked were Pablo Silva (3.13m) and Ilya Anatski (1.97m).

A Race to the Line

After 90 minutes play, four players still remained. Within half an hour, the champion would be crowned as a frantic finale brought about the newest GGMillion$ winner in the $10,300 weekly event on GGPoker. A thrilling ‘Mystery Hand’ saw presenter Jeff Gross and guest co-commentator Roman Hrabec guess what Belarussian Ilya Anatski had when he was about to call Martirosian’s river shove with top pair. Anatski had wrongly hero-called with just bottom pair and left in fourth for $172,446.

A similar situation scuppered the chances of another Brazilian victory in a year which has seen many of the GGMILLION$ finals won by talented South American players. Pablo Silva faced a shove from Martirosian on a board showing Q-9-2-3-6, and ended up making the call for his tournament life with ace-nine. He was wrong to do so, however, with the Russian’s king-queen good enough to send play heads-up. Silva, so close to a second GGMILLION$ win this season, was out in third for $219,933.

Into the final battle, and spaise411 had 6.37 million chips to Martirosian’s 11.9 million. When ‘spaise411’ almost levelled the stacks after turning trip jacks on a wet board, things looked good for the underdog. It was not to be, though, as a cooler froze out ‘spaise411’ and gave Artur Martirosian a record-breaking victory. Martirosian raised with pocket aces after his countryman raised with a suited king-jack and ‘spaise411’ three-bet to 1.1 million. Martirosian four-bet to 2.2m which was called. The 8-8-4 flop gave ‘spaise411’ two hearts to match those in his hand. The chips went all-in and another eight on the turn meant ‘spaise411’ was drawing dead as Artur Martirosian won a record-breaking eighth GGMILLION$ title. No one has more than the irrepressible Russian as he went wire-to-wire in almost complete control as “one of the best players in the world”. As Jeff Gross said, Artur Martirosian “put on a world-class show”.

Watch the final table action right here.

GGMillion$ 14th November 2023 Final Table Results

1stArtur MartirosianRussia$357,739
3rdPablo SilvaBrazil$219,933
4thIlya AnatskiBelarus$172,446
5thGiya YakobishviliRussia$135,212
6th‘SuperSolid’United Kingdom$106,018
7thWiktor MalinowskiPoland$83,127
8thDavid Peters $65,178
9thAlexander TkatschewGermany$51,105

2023 Week 30                                           2023 Week 32

About the Author: Paul Seaton has written about poker for over 10 years, interviewing some of the best players ever to play the game such as Daniel Negreanu, Johnny Chan and Phil Hellmuth. Over the years, Paul has reported live from tournaments such as the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and the European Poker Tour. He has also written for other poker brands where he was Head of Media, as well as BLUFF magazine, where he was Editor.